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Shadowrun Arena Brawl

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Shadowrun: Arena Brawl is a demo application for Shadowrun Awakened that presents many of our game mechanics. Producing this demo, and the underlying modules to support it, is the primary goal of the Alpha milestone.


What is Arena Brawl?

SRAB will present Shadowrun's in-universe "sport" of Urban Brawl. This is a game of capture played between two teams with special rules and lots of guns. The ruleset we base our game upon was written as an in-universe urban brawl description compiled by Logan Graves. Its information was pulled from the sourcebooks Shadowbeat and A Killing Glare. Arena Brawl is an indoor variant of Urban Brawl that is mentioned as being "scaled-down", thus we can reduce the complexity of Urban Brawl down to a more managable scale as necessary.

In urban brawl, there are two 11 man teams. Each is composed of the following positions (the number at each position may be reduced to suit our game):

  • Scouts: Four per team. Scouts wear light armor (ballistic 3, impact 2, plus helmet) and carry a personal sidearm.
  • Bangers: Four per team. Bangers wear medium armor (ballistic 4, impact 3, plus helmet) and carry a personal sidearm.
  • Heavies: Two per team. Heavies wear medium armor (ballistic 4, impact 3, plus helmet) and carry a personal sidearm, plus the brawler's choice of an assault rifle, SMG, or shotgun.
  • Blaster: One per team. The blaster wears light armor (ballistic 3, impact 2, plus helmet) and carries an LMG in a gyro-harness mounting (rating 2).

The area Urban Brawl is played is very large ("550 meters long by 420 meters wide, minimum, and 680 meters long by 510 meters wide, maximum." - Shadowbeat); however, the area for Arena Brawl is smaller ("150 by 50 meters" - Shadowbeat). The arena still features a cityscape ("'Buildings' are all one-story high, with doors and windows spotted all the walls at random" - Shadowbeat). The exact dimensions and qualities of the arena will be perfected by experimentation, permitting artistic license where necessary.

How will the game be played using our mechanics?

Arena Brawl presents a fast-paced sport using a narrow set of game mechanics. We will apply our current ideas to the game in order to maximize the amount of work that will directly transfer into Beta and therefore into the final game.

Astral Space

Magicians will also be allowed to play Arena Brawl. Subsequently, we must allow them to leverage their advantages, including Astral Space. This will include perception and project of magicians, and the use of spirits.

It is unknown if this will be unbalancing, as they are not mentioned in the standard rules, but there is a potential. Especially where spirits are concerned (serving as possible force multipliers).


The fundamental qualities of Shadowrun must remain intact in this game. That includes the use of attributes and skills. Omission of skills and attributes would lend to a more action-centered game, but they remain requirements as this is meant to be a scaled-down sandbox for building up our final game mechanics.

Use of SR mechanics means there is also character advancement. This will be accomplished by persisting character information between rounds, allowing everyone participating to play in a large league where players will undoubtedly want "Standings" and other qualities of persistent play. SRAB, while it could grow into a constant part of SRA, should not distract the project too much with such aspects.


Combat will play a central role in Arena Brawl. The arsenal of weapons available is restricted by the rules, allowing us to focus on tightening weapons as they progress in categories (pistols, SMGs, Rifles, light assault weapons, and melee weapons will be introduced). This will allow us to ignore more complex weapons, such as grenades and missile launchers, for the time being.

Given the size of the arena, there should be constant combat, allowing us to test entrance and exit of combat scenarios, resolution, damage, and every other aspect of combat.


As this game features combat, it will ultimately feature death. This includes use of Edge to recover from otherwise deadly wounds and use of first aid and magic to prevent death.


The Urban Brawl rules make no mention of deckers or hackers participating in Urban Brawl. That means inclusion of hacking would be artistic license on our part. The advantages would be adding another dimension to gameplay. By including such "hackable" items on the field as automated turrets, locked doors, shifting walls, or drones would add another layer of possibilities along with increasing the number of mechanics presented and tested by this demo.


As players can be injured, it must also be possible for them to be healed. This includes the sleeping-based healing over time along with magical healing and healing via skills.


Magicians are not mentioned in the urban brawl rules, but adding magic to the mix would add depth. Also, the gameplay balance during direct combat between wired-up street sams and magicians is mystery until it happens first hand.


The arena will be rife with opportunities to run, jump, crawl, climb, and otherwise move just as in the final game.


The arena will offer nooks, crannies, multiple levels, copious cover, and many means to sneak around unseen. The stealth elements of Shadowrun must work during combat or quiet and equally well against computers or humans.

Necessary Assets

The assets needed to produce SRAB includes:

  • Character models and animations
  • Item models (weapons, armor, tools; as necessary)
  • At least one Arena in which the game will be played.

Also, there will be scripting elements to be produced, including scripts & AI to play NPC opponents at the game, that are "assets", but will more likely be the initial testing scripts created by software team.

Necessary Code

The Applications Roadmap outlines the immediate steps necessary to create SRAB. Refer to those documents to answer any technical questions about SRAB's development.